Being your stereotypically effete, latte-swilling elites, were not usually fans of broad, populist comedy: Our tastes run more toward David Cross than Jeff Dunham; 30 Rock rather than Two and a Half Men. If there arent jokes about the impending corpocracy or elaborate metagags, were typically unmoved. That said, theres plenty to enjoy in the stand-up of self-proclaimed middle-class everyman John Heffron. Unlike other comics who tout their blue-collar cred, he has the winning quality of the sharp family guy at the company picnic who is actually funny, rather than the boorish drunk whose idea of a joke is showing the secretary his ass. Thats because Heffron is legitimately a middle-class guy who keeps it broad but smart, not some former frat-boy draped in overalls, dumbing it down to appeal to the lowest common denominator. His career has been ascendant since he won the televised stand-up comedy death-match Last Comic Standing in 2004, but hes far from a TV-groomed overnight celebrity. Instead, he has worked his way up from the trenches since the late '80s, even enduring a morning zoo side-gig with former child star and celebrity burnout expert Danny Bonaduce in Heffrons home town of Detroit. Over the past two decades, Heffron has honed his stand-up into something that is populist but not pandering, nailing low-key observational comedy and common-sense wisdom.
Aug. 5-7, 8 & 10 p.m., 2010